The Chainlink network is a decentralized oracle connecting various protocols, data silos, and smart contracts across numerous blockchain networks. The technology serves to “link” data across each of these networks. This system allows these networks to communicate with each other to find, share, and store information that didn’t originate on their individual platforms.
Chainlink’s unique purpose makes it a groundbreaking asset among cryptocurrencies.
Chainlink (LINK) is a cryptocurrency that runs on a network of the same name. Chainlink Co-founder Sergey Nazarov and his team officially launched the network in 2017. Chainlink, which is an Ethereum token, holds a unique space in the crypto world, as it exists to advance the functions of other blockchain networks.
The Chainlink Network and Oracles
Chainlink strives to become the first decentralized oracle network. Oracles bring information from the outside world, like weather data for example, to the blockchain to initiate a transaction. But because oracles are linked to real-world data outside the blockchain, they are centralized. Thus, oracles violate the blockchain “rule” of eliminating third parties in their transactions. Decentralized oracles, like Chainlink, would allow for the creation of new kinds of tamper proof and distributed information systems across industry sectors by enabling decentralization from data source to end user.
So far, Chainlink has had a short (relative to major crypto projects) but very vibrant journey. Chainlink’s initial coin offering happened in September of 2017. So far, about 45 percent of the LINK token’s total supply (the supply is capped at 1 billion tokens) is in circulation.
Specifically, the Chainlink network is preparing to receive its first update, Chainlink 2.0. This upgrade will merge hybrid smart contracts, which are programs that help perform actions stored on a blockchain, with modified oracles. The result will be a new kind of web3 product: secure, decentralized, oracle-based blockchain services.
Chainlink Community and Culture
Starting in 2019 and gaining momentum in 2020, a group of Chainlink proponents began creating content and building a massive community. Eventually this group became known as the LINK Marines, complete with their own chain of command and ranking structure.
Crypto communities are well-known for their tribal mentalities, but even within the maximalist mindset, the LINK Marines stand out. Maybe part of the enthusiasm is driven by LINK’s price performance over the years. Chainlink reached an all-time high of $52.88 on May 10, 2021, up from it’s ICO price of $0.11 in less than five years.